December 04, 2018

Becoming Earthquake Proof

You already know that earthquakes can happen at any time and when you least expect it. Why not prepare your home or business for the unexpected? Here are some tips to get your home or business earthquake ready.

Find the Weaknesses

Inspect the building’s structure for any potential weaknesses including:

  • Structures not anchored to their foundations – Check that the walls of the house are anchored securely to foundation slabs to prevent sliding during an earthquake.
  • Unbraced pier-and-post foundations – Check that posts are braced together to prevent rupture during an earthquake.
  • Unreinforced masonry walls – Walls made of brick, clay, adobe etc. can crumble and collapse in an earthquake if not attached to steel frames. It’s always a good idea to consult a structural engineer to ensure your building is anchored, braced and reinforced correctly.

Keep the Foundation Dry

Soil can expand and shift with rainfall causing foundations to move or slip. Here are some steps you can take to keep the foundation from accumulating moisture.

  • Keep gutters clean – A debris-clogged gutter can send water down the side of the building and straight into the ground around the foundation.
  • Ensure proper drainage - Make sure the ground around the building grades away from the foundation. Soil should slope at least 6 inches within 10 feet of the foundation. If not, dense soil should be added to the area to create grading and prevent water accumulation.

 

Secure your Stuff

Items of all sizes can shift and fall during an earthquake. This can result in damage or harm to people, items, floors or walls. Here are some tips to secure your stuff to provide more safety.

Water heaters and gas appliances:

  • Install a bracing kit to appliances to prevent movement and damage
  • Learn how to shut off gas valves in your home

Furniture and fixtures:

  • Bolt heavy bookcases, cabinets and tall furniture to wall studs
  • Hang heavy items away from beds or places that people sleep or sit
  • Brace all overhead light fixtures or fans
  • Install strong latches on cabinets

 

Now you are on your way to helping your home or business become stronger and more prepared in the event of an earthquake! To further protect your home or business from catastrophic disasters, contact your agent for an ICAT quote today!

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